From what I could see of the enemy, I estimate his force to be on this island at from 50 to 60 men; say, about one company. Dixon's Island is heavily picketed. The enemy has established picket posts along the James Island side and at either end. A reserve picket force is held at Taylor's old house, and effectually commands Little Folly River, as it sweeps around Dixon's Island. The force on this island is, I think, at least 150 strong. There is a small picket, also, on the extreme left end of Dixon's Arm. The enemy here seem to be busily fortifying. A large working party is engaged upon what I suppose to be a battery.
Goat Island has a small picket force on the extreme point, facing James Island. Plum Island and Long Island (opposite Cole's) are both picketed. Despite the enemy's pickets, I believe that the bridge connecting Plum Island and Long Island can be filed, and as soon as possible I shall make the attempt. As the water-course that I will have to pursue to reach this bridge runs within about 20 paces of at least three picket posts, and as a boat can be plainly seen upon the water for a distance of 300 yards or more when the moon shines, I deem it best, with your permission, to suspend operations in this direction until the nights become dark.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAMUEL LE ROY HAMMOND,
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., September 26, 1863.
Brigadier General G. J. RAINS, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: I am instructed by Major-General Gilmer to call your attention to the following extract from a letter of Captain J. T. Champneys, engineer in charge at Fort Sumter, to Major W. H. Echols, chief engineer South Carolina:
FORT SUMTER, September 24, 1863.
Major W. H. ECHOLS,
Chief Engineers South Carolina, Charleston, S. C.:
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Some of the torpedoes place in last night by Gray exploded during the night, possibly from the force of the washing of the waves, as they were placed near high-water mark and below it. The enemy remained quiet during the night.
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I remain, your obedient servant,
J. T. CHAMPNEYS,
Captain of Engineers, in Charge.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. W. B. ELLIOTT,
Lieutenant, and Aide-de-Camp.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST MILITARY DISTRICT,
Charleston, S. C., September 27, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to bring the condition of the regiments of State troops for six-months' service to the consideration of